Research into IAQ and retrofit win CIBSE medals

Carter and Napier Shaw Bronze Medals awarded for best papers in BSER&T

Air pollution

Technical papers looking at indoor air quality and the implications for retrofitting and ventilating buildings have been recognised by CIBSE as the best papers published in Building Services Engineering Research and Technology (BSER&T) journal in 2018.

One paper examines different ventilation strategies for retrofitting buildings to ensure safe levels of indoor air quality, and their effectiveness, while the other looks at CO2 and the effect that exposure to high levels can have on human cognitive performance.

Yiyi Chu, Peng Xu, Zhiwei Yang, Weilin Li won the Carter Bronze Medal for their paper entitled ‘Retrofitting existing buildings to control indoor PM2.5 concentrations on smog days: initial experience of residential buildings in China’.

It starts with an overview of the growing worldwide attention and increasing evidence of the relationship between air pollution and adverse health effects – including on the development of lung function in children.

The paper considers the effectiveness of retrofitting methods to control indoor particulate matter in existing buildings, using at a case study from Shanghai. Methods used include airtightness improvement, indoor positive pressure control with a fresh air system, and an air purifier.

The Napier Shaw Bronze Medal was awarded to Gesche M Huebner, Tadj Oreszczyn and Robert J Lowe for their paper Possible future impacts of elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 on human cognitive performance and on the design and operation of ventilation systems in buildings.

Their research looks at predicted increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration by the end of the 21st century and the possible effects on human performance, before examining the implications this has for the engineering of ventilation systems and associated energy use.

The paper highlights the very limited research done on the effect of higher levels of CO2 on cognitive performance, as opposed to air quality in general, and the need for further study in this area.

The Carter and Napier Shaw Bronze Medals are awarded annually by CIBSE to celebrate high-quality research in the building services industry. They will be presented at the President’s Dinner in October. CIBSE members can access BSER&T and Lighting Research and Technology at